Concussions are a serious injury, but unlike a cut or broken bone, they can be very difficult to diagnose. They can occur after big hits or minor collisions and symptoms can take as long as 48 hours to appear. With these challenges, it’s critical that everyone knows how to recognize the potential warning signs.
Coaches and Parents
There are many signals coaches and parents can look for when assessing if a player has suffered a concussion. The key is knowing the signs and to continuously be looking for them. Here are some indicators to watch for:
If one of your players starts showing any of these signals, there is a good chance they have suffered a concussion to some degree. The player should be removed from play immediately and evaluated by a trained professional prior to returning.
Perhaps even more importantly, it is critical to educate and encourage players to report any symptoms. Players feel the effects of concussions first hand and can help detect them sooner. The following symptoms are often difficult to observe and should be reported by the player:
In order for players to be an effective part of the diagnosis process, it is critical that coaches and parents empower them by asking questions about these symptoms following any potential head injury. To reduce the likelihood of players lying so they can stay in the game, be sure to emphasize the importance of honesty and how the number one priority is their long term safety.
Any player reporting or displaying these symptoms needs to be removed from play until they can be evaluated by an experienced medical professional. Only trained physicians are qualified to determine if a concussion has been sustained. However, it is up to coaches, parents, and players to make the initial call on removal from play to avoid further damage.
Remember, you would rather miss one game than an entire season!
For more information, please visit www.nationaldizzyandbalancecenter.com or call 952-345-3000.